infodad, Febr. 2020

...a highly thoughtful and thoroughly satisfying recording of Bach’s Sonatas and which Cotik makes some highly personalized decisions about playing the music.... in Cotik’s hands (and beneath his fingers, it sounds very fine indeed. There is a sprightliness about these performances that is immediately winning, and at the same time there is all the seriousness one might wish for in the deeper and more-complex movements. The famed Chaconne of Partita No. 2 is lighter than usual but scarcely ebullient, its contrapuntal complexity highlighted by the care with which Cotik brings out its various components. To cite just one other example, the highly complex Fuga of Sonata No. 3, which leans (among other things) on the performer’s ability to perform quadruple stops, is neither heavy nor academic-sounding here, and its considerable length (only the Chaconne is longer) makes complete sense as a way to work through its musical arguments and overall development. Cotik, who uses less ornamentation than do many other performers, allows emotion into the music as appropriate, as in the openings of all three sonatas and in the two sarabandes... he also permits, even encourages matters to become almost frothy in some of the quick sections (Presto of Sonata No. 1, Gigue of Partita No. 3). What is evident throughout this Centaur recording is that Cotik has thought long and hard about every aspect of playing this music, from where to follow historically informed practice closely (and where not to) to when to show the music’s emotive power (and when to keep matters much more restrained). There is no “best” recording of these works – and no definitive way to answer the many questions they pose for performer and listener alike. There are, however, many excellent approaches to the music, each convincing on its own terms. Cotik’s are very decidedly within that distinguished group. Read More